Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co. (1928) is a leading case in
American tort law on the question of liability to an unforeseeable
plaintiff. Arising out of an unusual incident on August 24, 1924, the
case has been studied by generations of law students. The plaintiff,
Helen Palsgraf, was injured as she was boarding a train when a man
(aided by railroad employees) dropped a package that exploded, causing a
large coin-operated scale on the platform to hit her. She sued the
railroad, arguing that she had been harmed by the negligence of its
employees while they assisted the man. She won a jury verdict but lost
on appeal to the New York Court of Appeals, the highest state court in
New York; its opinion was written by Chief Judge Benjamin Cardozo
(pictured), a leading figure in the development of American common law
and later a Supreme Court justice. Cardozo wrote for a majority of the
Court of Appeals, ruling that the railroad was not negligent because its
employees, in helping the man board, did not have a duty of care to
Palsgraf as injury to her was not a foreseeable harm from aiding a man
with a package.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palsgraf_v._Long_Island_Railroad_Co.>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Caesar's Civil War: Forces loyal to Julius Caesar led by Gaius
Scribonius Curio were crushingly defeated by Pompeian Republicans under
Publius Attius Varus and King Juba I of Numidia.
Anglo-Scottish Wars: The border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed and
its castle were captured by English forces.
The predominantly Māori New Zealand Native football team
played the last match of their 107-game tour, the longest in rugby union
World War II: Bombers from the United States aircraft carrier
Saratoga sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō near Santa Isabel,
Solomon Islands, helping to lead to an Allied victory.
About 90 people died after suicide bombers attacked two
airliners flying out of Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(rare) Illumination; specifically, artificial illumination.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
It is known that Whistler when asked how long it took him to paint
one of his "nocturnes" answered: "All of my life." With the same
he could have said that all of the centuries that preceded the moment
when he painted were necessary. From that correct application of the law
of causality it follows that slightest event presupposes the
inconceivable universe and, conversely, that the universe needs even the
slightest of events.
--Jorge Luis Borges
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